Kingdom, Nigeria committed to oil market stability
Kingdom, Nigeria committed to oil market stability
A consensus to freeze oil production to stabilize crude oil prices was one among several key bilateral and regional issues that were discussed during the talks between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari here at Al-Yamamah Palace.
King Salman also hosted a luncheon banquet in honor of President Buhari at the palace.
“The summit talks focused on multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),” said an African diplomat, without giving his name.
He said that the Kingdom and Nigeria are important members of OPEC.
“There is a need to stabilize oil prices as the prices have slumped by more than 70 percent to near $30 a barrel over the past 18 months,” said the diplomat, while referring to the talks.
SPA reported that “the talks focused on prospects of cooperation between the two countries in various fields and the latest developments in Islamic and international arenas.”
The Saudi-Nigerian consultation touched on the potential output freeze, which aims to stabilize a market in which prices have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 13 years.
Saudi Arabia and Nigeria are committed to a stable oil market and efforts to support a price rebound, Garba Shehu, a spokesman for President Buhari said in Lagos.
“The two leaders accepted the fact that their two economies are tied to oil and that all cannot be well with both countries when the world oil market is unstable,” said the spokesman
“They therefore committed themselves to doing all that is possible to stabilize the market and rebound the oil price,” he was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
President Buhari is accompanied by Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, junior oil minister and head of the state-run oil firm.
Buhari, who started his week-long official visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Monday from Riyadh, left later on Tuesday for Madinah.
The Nigerian president will travel to the holy city of Makkah for Umrah on Thursday. The talks and the luncheon banquet hosted by King Salman were also attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, National Guard minister; Ibrahim Al-Assaf; finance minister; and Adel Al-Toraifi, minister of culture and information.
The oil price crash has crippled some economies that depend heavily on oil sales for income, such as Nigeria and Venezuela, and even Gulf producers are shoring up their resources to withstand the painful revenue drop.
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter.
Oil plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40 percent of the GDP and 80 percent of Nigerian government earnings.
Poorer OPEC members, including Nigeria, have been hard-hit by the price drop but even the wealthy Gulf states have been forced to adopt austerity measures to cope with falling oil revenues.
“Nigeria, of course, is likely to support such a freeze. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see them voice their support to the freeze agreed in Doha,” Abhishek Deshpande, lead oil market analyst at Natixis in London, told AFP.
Russia, which produces about 10.7 million barrels of oil a day, does not belong to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in which Saudi Arabia is lead producer and Nigeria a smaller member.
Following his visit to Riyadh, President Buhari is set to fly to Doha to discuss oil price stability with Qatar’s ruler.
Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day
- The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017
JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.